The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages

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Read how you want, 2010 - 513 pages
17 Reviews
The medieval Catholic Church, widely considered a source of intolerance and inquisitorial fervor, was not anti-science during the Dark Ages - in fact, the pope in the year 1000 was the leading mathematician and astronomer of his day. Called ''the Scientist Pope,'' Gerbert of Aurillac rose from peasant beginnings to lead the church. By turns a teacher, traitor, kingmaker, and visionary, Gerbert is the first Christian known to teach math using the nine Arabic numerals and zero. In The Abacus and the Cross, Nancy Marie Brown skillfully explores the new learning Gerbert brought to Europe. A fascinating narrative of one remarkable math teacher, The Abacus and the Cross will captivate readers of history, science, and religion alike.

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Great fun to read

User Review  - Fernando -

A fascinating account of the life of Gerbert d'Aurillac, scholar and later pope. Worth reading just for the portrait os mathematical learning in 10th century Europe. The author overstates her case, but one still gets a good sense of hoe impressive he was. Read full review

Review: The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages

User Review  - Amber - Goodreads

An interesting and fairly unbiased account of a little known, little talked about pope, Sylvester II. I like the depth that Brown goes to to explain the political, spiritual and scientific climate ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

NANCY MARIE BROWN is the author of A Good Horse Has No Color and Mendel in the Kitchen. She lives in Vermont with her husband, the writer Charles Fergus.

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